Oil prices fall on rising US rig count

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Oil prices fell by more than 1 percent on Monday as U.S. drilling activity picked up and as a refinery fire in the U.S. state of Illinois resulted in the shutdown of a large crude distillation unit.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $51.92 per barrel at 0144 GMT, down 80 cents, or 1.5 percent, from their last settlement.

International Brent crude oil futures were down 71 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $61.39 a barrel.

In the United States, energy firms last week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks, a weekly report by Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Companies added 7 oil rigs in the week to Feb. 8, bringing the total count to 854, pointing to a further rise in U.S. crude production, which already stands at a record 11.9 million bpd.

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